Bookcases. Bookcases are a lifesaver when it comes to living small. They come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Our picks are not only functional, they’re attractive. Some ways to use a bookcase creatively in a small apartment include: As a room divider, floating it in an area to split up the space. To house collections of items to clear clutter and give a room a design boost. As a home office, with a shelf set at a height of 28-30 inches to serve as a writing or laptop spot, plus a section for a printer. As an entry, breakfast, media or sofa table. As an armless sofa bookend instead of a side table.
Skip the Bulky Bed Frame. A few inches of extra space can be vital in a small bedroom. Part ways with your footboard-style bed frame and replace it with a simple modern headboard to finish the look of your bed. Or, opt for a hollywood-style frame that supports the bottom of the bed and extends no further than the perimeter of the mattress. You can decorate the space above the bed with art, or add a headboard later.
Create Contrast with the Ceiling. The ceiling is a surface that is often overlooked. By adding a splash of color overhead you can create a visually interesting contrast with your walls and make the space more dynamic. The effect can be subtle if you choose a muted shade, or you can brighten a white room with a bold color. If you have low ceilings, selecting a cool shade like blue or lilac will make them appear higher so you can fool the eye into thinking the room is bigger than it really is.
Due to frequent use and the resulting wear and tear, bathrooms tend to start breaking down after about 20 years, whether that’s a perpetually leaky faucet or crumbling grout or chipping tiles (or all three). On average, bathroom remodels cost $16,724, so your design should be both intentional and strategic in order to secure a high return on investment, as well as to create a functional space. That said, bathrooms are typically small, enclosed rooms so they are also a place in your home where you can play around a little bit with color and texture.
Flooring. There are many options for bathroom flooring so first consider our tips for selecting a material for your floors, which will help you choose what works best for your space. In general, larger floor tiles and patterns are subtle and better for small bathrooms. If you put ceramic tile on the floor look for a grade of 1 or 2, a water absorption rating of less than 7% and a coefficient of friction above .60, which are slip resistant and stand up to water. You’ll also want a more impervious tile for the floor because of exposure to water. Vinyl feels better on bare feet than ceramic tile and it’s one of the more popular flooring choices due to it being inexpensive and practical (safe, easy to install and maintain). One feature that buyers are looking for in today’s market is radiant heated flooring, which not only ensures warm feet in the colder months but also makes the floor dry faster, reducing the chance of slips or falls. It’s also energy efficient.
Combine moods for an aggressive workout room: While it might make sense to use red paint in a workout room, this can actually overdo the sensation of feeling hot. If you want to use a warm color in your workout room, consider a delightful blend of blue and yellow paint on the walls. You can also go for a relaxing green-blue combination for a cooling effect to extend workouts.
Two-Tone Kitchen Countertops. For a custom, high-design look, choose two different countertop surfaces for your kitchen. This look was once exclusively used by chefs and bakers who preferred a designated, cold marble countertop in one section for rolling dough and stainless steel for the rest of the kitchen counters for clean up ease. Take inspiration from the professional cook’s practical countertop two-tone approach to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen.
There’s a reason tile is often the material of choice in the bathroom: it reflects light, it’s durable, it’s easy to clean and it freshens up the space. We’ve assembled a list of bathroom tile ideas to help you get started.
When all else fails, look to nature: When using color psychology in your home, choose paints that remind you of nature. Colors that appear in nature will blend perfectly in your home interior. However, with the exterior of your home, bright colors are, more often than not, the best choice for a more welcoming living space.
Create a Custom Mural. One of the most adventurous living room paint ideas is to create a one-of-a-kind mural. A mural can be a small accent or a large, full-wall masterpiece. Choose a monochromatic color scheme or splash a rainbow across your space; there are no rules here. Emulate the work of a favorite artist, design your own theme, or hire a professional to incorporate the colors of your room and the personality of your family for the ultimate living room centerpiece. If you making your own mural is not in your skill set or you’re concerned about resale value if you plan to move someday, consider hanging a large piece of artwork instead.
Apartment-Size Sofas and Seating. Companies such as West Elm and CB2 have developed a whole range of apartment-size sofas and seating for small-space dwellers, and for good reason: The sofa is usually the most space-consuming furniture piece in a home. Opt for sofas that have a shallower depth, 37 inches or less. Skip oversized, rolled arms — which can waste a foot or more of floor space — and pick a modern, streamlined style with thinner arms. Less arm space also means more seating; in fact, an armless sofa or a one-armed chaise is the ultimate space-saving seating solution.
Find home improvement inspiration to create bathrooms, kitchens, garages, home offices, decks, patios, and entryways you'll love. Whether you want to customize a basic builder design, renovate an old home, or learn how to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, you can create your dream home with smart planning and the right home improvement contractors. Browse our home remodeling ideas for projects that fit your time frame, budget, and style. Poke the picture and try new interior and exterior paint colors for free with our virtual Color Finder tool, and take our countertop and floor finder quizzes to discover your perfect material matches. We also have weekend home improvement project ideas, home plans, kitchen and bath planning guides, and storage solutions.
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